By: Maria Shila Clarion Caraan-Medic/456
It is those kinds of days when the world is normally quiet and people are outside their homes and in the busy streets celebrating happy moments with families or simply just wandering around when some unforeseen events may occur exploiting the people’s expectations about life and the enjoyment of it. The EMS personnel whom dedicated to serve have their own purpose. For us, every life matters. Every second is precious. Coping with stress witnessing the death and dying, even the smallest nerves on our system, quivered. No matter how strong we are trying to portray ourselves on extremely stretched situation, no matter how calm, we acted though overwhelmed by the event, it is our heart that fears of losing the battle. The battle which is not intended for us personally as far as professional versus personal connection is concerned. We cannot just cease all hopes and say to ourselves; “This is God’s plan”. After all, we have been trained to help save lives.
It is a common notion that people in the EMS are working in a job with good pay and less workload. But behind the bright smile of men and women in the EMS; bleeding hearts and distorted minds are far beyond comprehension. We carry the burden on our shoulders. Seeing the sick and injured every day makes us weak inside and out. We are vulnerable human beings too. Because of the need of us being out there, we change the value of holidays to work days. So when the entire world asleep, we are outside in the streets saving lives. Some may question why we choose to be here? The answer is just simple: If not us, then who will? The world may forget us because we didn’t go to war to defend our country. Our memories may be of less of importance from the views of our arch-critics whom we dedicated to serve, even to our people. We won’t have a medal of valor and a flag on our coffins on our death, but the lives that have been saved in “God’s Will” through us will always bring a smile in everybody’s lips and a joy in their love one’s hearts. It will surely change their lives. Perhaps, we have played a very good role in the lives of our arch-critics, but it is at the expense of our own family’s enjoying our time together, which is seldom and very rare. There is so much sympathetic pity for the misfortune of others in the medic’s heart that flows like a stream in which ordinary minds fails to fathom. In saving lives; it is the passion with compassion.
Poetry for unsung heroes: By Maria Shila Clarion Caraan – Medic/456
In the deep of the night
when entire world retired
the sounds of sirens
broken the silence.
A dancing headlight
of red and blue
giving you a clue
someone’s on the limbo.
We gather our strength
when you call for help
we extend our hearts
not just our hands.
There’s that emotion
we can never hide
for every sweat our shield
it is our greatest pride.
We equip ourselves
knowledge and wisdom
so when there’s a call of duty
we won’t walk there, empty.
Our only shield is the blend
of the trust being gained
and the faith that flaunt
our victory staunched.
“My heart is ascertained that it’s a hard life; but I cannot stop my lips from smiling.”
It has been nearly end of November 2015, just a couple of weeks before my wedding I was assigned in Unit-18 stationed at Ghusais Civil Defense headquarters with senior Medic Matoza and senior driver Mohammad Ahmad. The shift started as normal. We were checking our stocks, cleaning the car, and preparing for whatever will come our way that night. As the winter breeze started cooling off the day sun left, we were able to hint to ourselves, it might be a quiet night as the medic’s radio channel is quite calm. Just when we were about to take a turn for an evening meal, a call came to us from dispatch. It was an unspecified medical call, possibly hypoglycemia.
So we were on our route to the location and I was preparing the things we would need behind the truck as I am the one seated in the cabin. We reached the scene for about three minutes and I was amazed how awkward the surrounding walls. No commotion to alert us to something unusual. It was a quite big gated house with lots of cars parked in the parking area. By merely looking around you can tell that the family who lives there is a well-to-do family. We were greeted by a young lad outside the main door and he guided us inside the house to where his brother lies. Upon entering into the room we introduced ourselves to the older lady which I presumed his mother and two other young teens and they seemed to be alright, except for the mother who was a little distraught.
A young man on his thirty’s lying literally unresponsive in bed. When we ask what happened while assessing the patient, the sister revealed to us that her brother was fighting with their older brother when the later reprimanded him. She told us that their older brother was angry, but when she was about to tell us the reason why her mother stopped her and sends her out. The man lying on the bed, still refused to move and respond to us. We checked all the vitals and everything was normal including 12 leads ECG. The mother then told us that her son was having a history of seizure and she said he might have one prior to our arrival. She also said that her son is taking regular medication for seizure, but was not able to name the particular medicine her son is taking. So we decided to bring the patient to Rashid Hospital base on the history as low priority. There were no signs of post seizure though, but since the patient still refused to cooperate, we took him in the ambulance on stretcher with his mother inside the cabin with us as she declined to sit in the front.
While on route to Rashid Hospital, my partner senior medic Matoza tried to coordinate with the EMT Post as the hospital is unwilling to accept the patient. I made my secondary assessment and there I discovered a needle mark in his arm on the left brachioradialis area. The mother had lied to us. Her son was injecting drugs when his older brother found him. When the patient sensed that we uncovered his secret, he started to become violent. He was able to free himself from the stretcher strap on his arm and started punching my partner who was still on the phone trying to explain to the EMT Post about the situation. I alerted the driver Mohammad Ahmad to pull over and call police. At that moment the mother became very angry due to the fact that we have called the police for assistance and started accusing us of hurting her son as she saw me pinning him down on the stretcher while alerting our driver. She called her other son and told him we had called the police for his brother.
Meanwhile, acting shift supervisor Aala Almomani was monitoring us through Arabic channel and had arrived at the place we had stopped seconds after the police came, kudos to him for his prompt action. He talked to the brother and explained to him that we are just doing our job for the safety of everyone on board as his brother was trying to hurt us. One of the police escorted us to the hospital while the patient was still acting violently but already well strapped. As we reached the hospital Emergency Room, doctors and nurses were ready to meet us and took action on sedating the patient just to calm him down.
This experience told us so many lessons, to enlighten us on what to do when circumstances go wrong. No matter how tranquil the situation is, we have to be always prepared and ready to act for our safety. If the patient’s life matter; and so ours’ too. Drug abuse is a worldwide problem. It is a problem to the society. Drug abusers will not care whether you are a medic or not, a family or not. Their minds have been clouded with a wrong notion about life. Sometimes their own family will not tell you the whole truth or even lie to you and leave you blinded while treating their patients. The threat to our safety while on the job is real. Always be safe because our lives too; matters.
“Gratitude can never be found in a gloomy and hateful heart, for they will never appreciate the kindness you’ve shown even if they tasted a handful of it again and again”.
~Maria Shila Clarion Caraan~
DO NO HARM
Do No Harm is one of the rules we live by in public safety / Ems. There are many forms of harm that can be done, by doing nothing in a situation in fact can be causing harm. Doing something is better than doing nothing, As long as your not causing harm. Sometimes thou you will find yourself in the situation to not fix what is not broken that is still doing the right thing.
So I started a medic program this last August, and well things have been going great, I understand pharm, although memorizing doses is kind of a bear, but I will get it. Cardiology is pretty smooth for me, I picked up on it faster then most of my fellow classmates. So here is the problem, our main group of students is split into two lab groups, and the group I am in, we are ahead of the other group, so we started working on ACLS algo's and I can pretty much recite them, but when we ran our first mega code I froze up completely... So here is were you guys come in, any suggestions as to how to not freeze up? That would be great!
16 hours. I feel like a vampire. I get up, it's dark. I go to work, it's dark. I go home, it's f****** dark.. I sleep, its daylight.
every now and then, will be a tremendous rattle the ground will start shake and a train will pass. otherwise I see nothing I hear nothing I'm just here. All alone. Who am I supposed to help?I think I'd rather be an ambulance driver....
Today was a strange day. First, I came to our station and was greeted from my collages with roars of laughter. Then I went to our disposition to receive the keys and the folder of our ambulance, and got the replacement vehicle allocated because of the Reason that our ambulances was in the auto repair shop. After a short check of our replacement ambulance we got then our first run, which was canceled 20 minutes after departure from our disposition so that we got as second run a Infection run for a Patient with Pseudomonas aeruginosa from a Rehab to a University Hospital. But on our way to the reab our run was been canceled again by our disposition, and we got another infection run on the other site of our city for a Patient with methicillin resistant germs. After that run we got another infection run for a Patient similar germs. So our morning consisted mostly of permant disinfecting and talking to ur disposition becouse of our runsand desinfection times. I can't say how much I hate that special runs with Infection Protection clothes and Desinfection in the morning. But somehow the beginning of the day drew like a red thread through the day. Our last run was an acute abdomen at a nursing home which looked really badly. After that when we reached the Hospital my Partner said to me that she feels really sick with nausea, because a coffee with milk which she got at midday in a nursing home. And now I am at home and I feel tired and badly.
But I know the show must go on tomorrow....
A long time I've thought about, what I can do with this Blog area. But unfortunately I do not know it to, at this time. Now I am sitting here again and think about. I hope I find a Idea. I believe at this time is the only thing that is moving a clock on my wall and not my brain...... What a cognition!!!!! Now it's 11:00 PM CET.......tick tick tack....
At 8:00 AM I have to get up for my shift on BLS Ambulance 3-7. Let see how it will.....
Were you too blind to see the sadness in my eyes?
Were you just to busy to stop and ask me why.
You just let me slip away and as my soul slowly dies.
You never asked me about the tears I cry.
The hand was played the cards were dealt.
I wish now that the wind would take me where ever it blows.
You will never know the love I felt.
You are a cruel person and now the truth shows.
You fail to notice everything I did how much I really care.
I always hide what's really on my mind as I listen to you talk,
I laughed at your jokes and stupid stupid things you dare,
You can talk the talk but honey you cant walk that walk.
I will be there when you need me all you have to do is call.
I will stand beside you and help you be strong.
I will not let the troubles of life let you fall.
I know this dream I am dreaming cant be wrong.
I know I am not your first but I was hoping I could be your last.
Hard as stone with hidden fears I will love in slience as no one hears.
My heart of gold and beautiful soul will be a thing of the past.
Those are things that have been hardened and vanished through the years.
We will never know what might have been or what could be.
Because you chose to shout the door and the life that could be will never be tried.
I will go now and live inside my private hell and you will never see.
But if the wourld ends tonight just know that a tear for you was cried.
As I sit here, clad in my boxers, in front of a fan...stuck to my leather chair... I'm barely conscious. Oh yeahhhh... Half an oxycontin and half an ultram. Just because. Took a va-ca week. I fucking hurt. Everywhere, every joint in my body is practically useless. Even my hands cramp up. And this damn soupy swamp ass weather ain't helping. I won't bitch about heat, b/c I bitch about cold..but the humidity is so bad you could bottle it up and sell it. And it just rained for about twenty-three seconds...so it's hot, sticky and muggy..at 1am. It was supposed to be 85 today, and it was 98, with a heat index of 107; and it was supposed to be 62 now; and it's 85...so they got shit mixed up a tad. Can't have AC, the place will burn to the ground, wiring is too old..and can't go out and wander around, we have a bear problem...so I'm sitting here, stuck to my chair. Literally.
Pondering..trying to.. I just may barf up the rack of ribs I had for dinner. A large meal on a hot day, just doesn't work...but I couldn't pass it up. Tried a little cola syrup, tasted like shit. I think I'd rather have a bag of wee...uh... nevermind. I was going to spend the evening sewing the patch on my new uniform shirts, but I didn't feel that was an activity that should be performed while not 100% lucid. I'd ask my fiance to do it, but she apparently never had a home economics class. JUST SAYING. I can see it now. "What's a TME"? Military term.. yanno... Technician, Medical, Emergency. ha ha
So I bought a case of suction tubing, really cheap shit, on ebay..and just finished slicing a slit in all 400' of it.. She had to get a kitten. It likes to chew on wires, so to avoid a "Christmas Vacation" (the movie) incident, I'm putting all my wires in suction tubing. That way, at least she'll be satisfied that I tried.
I was going to clean my walk in closet out tonight, so I can go back to calling it a walk in closet, but I'm afraid I'd die from heat stroke. The walls seem to repel heat during the day, and release it inward at night. I am fricken dying here..and then she decides that its a good night to get frisky. Yeah, probably not dear, not feeling so great. So, that's why I'm not in bed. I'd be an unwelcome guest, and I've been shunned to the couch. I'll guilt trip my way back to bed by morning, over protecting, gullible nurses are just too easy; she was hounding me all day about water. I never drink water, I drink other shit. I've never drank a whole glass or bottle of water in my life; and I've yet to die because of it. Drink some water, come lay down, sit in the shade, did you check your sugar? Re-read that in a whiny ass annoying tone and you'll be spot on. Stifle yourself, I'm gonna hang out at the Hosey (fire station), leaving my cell here. Call down if the house catches fire..
Going for a nap on the porch. Peace out ppl of the globe.
It is almost June 2, again I hate this day but in reality I really should not. It was the day that all MY dreams were to become a reality. I was going to get what I wanted and that was a real family for me and JT. One that did things together and really bonded. Kinda like the leave it to Beaver show.....The white picket fences and all...But once again life decided to throw me a curve ball and the mighty Terri struck out. As I look now I see it as just another lesson learned, another story to tell, and hopefully it will give me the message to pass on to someone else who was in my situtation.
A quote comes to mind: being with no one is better than being with the wrong one. Some times those who fly solo have the strongest wings.
Tonight my son graduated from the vocational school. He got a certificate from carpentry. He made it all the way up to two week before graduation and he failed out of the nursing program. This was hard on him and myself all these years I have told both my boys you can do anything you want in life if you fail you fail as long as you do your best that is all anyone can ask. I am so proud of him he has come into his own in many many ways.
But he is like his mom he isnt going to let a set back stop him from his dream we go to the college on wednesday to enroll him in their nursing program so pray all goes well for him. His choice not mine.
I have learned a lesson from him over the last two weeks, one is he is more of a man than i could have imagined, the high school he attends couldnt change anything on his schedule since he only has two weeks of school he had no morning class anymore i told him he could stay home and then check in. He did not do this he went every day to the LPN class as though he was still in class. He opted to keep going so he could finish out the those two weeks. I am so very proud of him. Me i wouldnt have went back but he is no quitter.
Tomorrow night is his final graduation from high school my baby will be ready to go into this big cruel world and spread his wings. This is bitter sweet I would love to keep him with me forever but I know its time for him to come into his own. I do worry did I do good enough job raising him did I make the right choices while i was raising him alone? Did I teach him the things he will need out in this world? Did I forget to teach him something.
Tonight as i watched him go across that stage I could never describe the feeling of how proud I was of him. Yes he failed LPN but he didnt let that destroy his dream. Maybe I need to take a lesson from my son.
Well this semester is officially over! I believe it was the hardest one yet! I took environmental biology, drama, and statistics. There were times I considered dropping, but I am so glad I pushed through! I got my grades today, and while they could have been much better, I passed! I am done with the local community college and moving on...
I was accepted into University of Texas at San Antonio into the Emergency Health Science program. It starts in July and I can't wait to take classes that I am interested in! The people that I have talked to at the University are all so friendly and helpful, such a stark contrast to my community college!
In other news, I am having a "mass" removed from my ankle next week. After all the problems I had last year, nobody knows exactly what it is. I am unsure how the surgery will be, or what will happen afterwards, so my excitement for school comes at a great time! It is definitely something to look forward to!
Have a great day everyone!!!
Drako is a big scary dog. He is a pit bull / rottweiler mix and he is big and strong and scary looking. He came into my life about 7 or 8 years ago when he was rescued, with another smaller pit, from an abusive situation. He was going to live with my daughter and her family. I happened to be in town when he arrived. I spent a few hours with the dog in my daughter's house and put my foot down. I explained that he was going to hurt someone in that family. Her chaotic, dynamic family was not the right place for Drakeo.
We immediately thought of my brother. He lived alone in an A frame that he had built with a chainsaw and timber he had hewn from his own land. He lived in the country, very isolated in a remote part of Northern Ontario and had just lost his guard dog.
I called him about Drako, and my brother came to see him. I didn't know it then, but it was the last time I would see my brother alive. I live in Arizona and our contact was sporadic.
Long story short, my brother took Drako home with him and over the next 3 years, turned him into an excellent, loving dog. With a combination of discipline and dogmanship, my brother rehabilitated Drako.
Drako was there when my brother shot himself. Drako almost got himself shot by the police. He was so protective of my brother's body. Eventually, a friend was able to persuade Drako to leave his best friend.
Another long story short, Drako arrived here in Wisconsin to live with me a week and a half ago. I had spent time with him during my sojourns into Canada, when he was living with my daughter, where he had gone immediately after my brother's death. We are old friends.
The most striking feature of my brother's face were his huge, expressive brown eyes. I see them in my mind's eye, looking at the world when he was a little boy, and when he was a broken man. Drako has the same eyes. It breaks my heart.
In his stories, he was always the hero. It was an open secret that he was a fabulist. My father said his brother Leo was the same way, like it was some genetic trait. (In a way it was. Uncle Leo once told me a story about his sister Aunt Liisa straining at the potty and prolapsing feet of large intestine. My uncle Leo laughed like it was the funniest thing ever)
My brother's stories embarrassed me. I tried to stop him from talking when we were with friends. I didn't want him (and me) exposed to their ridicule. He resented this forever. He told me in a drunken anguish at age 45 that "I never let him talk".
My brother's stories lasted his lifetime. All his friends knew it about him and accepted that in him. None of his friends knew that he had a sister. This hurts the most. Have to stop writing now.. Crying again.
I thought that I would write about my brother.
He was an affectionate little boy. There is a picture of us about age two where he is hugging me. The look on his face is pure joy; on mine - impatient toleration. My mother says that he was always trying to hug me and I was always pushing him away. When I actually let him hug me, they took a picture because it was so rare.
He did not socialize well with others. I was always on the go, learning languages from my neighbors. He was in a corner, playing with a truck. He once told me that he wanted a truck with a trailer that was 8 miles long. I was truly puzzled and asked him how he would make the 90 degree turn into a neighboring town. He was very angry with me. It was a missed connection.
When we started school, we headed to first grade, neither one of us speaking English. (The neighbors were Italian) We went in hand in hand. The older boys offered us chewing gum just as the bell rang. The teacher was screaming at us to "spit it out" and we had no idea she was talking to us or what she was saying. One of the other finnish kids filled us in. I still remember how my face burnt as we went to the wastebasket and "spit it out".
It reminds of the time other kids taught us to say "F--- you you b-----d" as the proper way to ask for candy at the corner store. Pretty funny now.
My mother had decided that she wanted to learn English with us, so she would check our papers after school. I started getting stars on my papers and my brother didn't. We would walk home and try to come up with a believable story - "She ran out of stars" was one. Mother stopped checking after a while.
By Christmas, I was reading English. By the end of the year, I was promoted to second grade and my brother was left behind. It was the beginning of the end.
Horrible things happened to him. He was hospitalized in a town 4 hours away due to physical damage from abuse. He was soiling himself due to lack of sphincter tone. How ashamed he must have been. I missed him so much when he was gone.
When he came home, he told me wonderful stories about the hospital. I wanted to go to the hospital too. A year later, before my own hospitalization, he confessed that his stories had been made up. He didn't want me to expect it to be a wonderful place.
There is so much more to my brother. I will keep writing as I can. I am crying now and will stop for a bit.
Thank you for reading.
Perhaps we always have been. Perhaps that's the way of the world. Nail somebody or something on a technicality and we don't have to extend ourselves as human beings. We don't have to see the subtleties of the situation or the person or the event. We can hang a label on it and then we don't have to think any more. We can sleep at night knowing that we did what the right thing. Or can we? Do we sleep? Or does the wrong we have done nag us with insomnia, sleeplessness and vague disquiet?
If we have pangs of conscience, troubling thoughts about what we did, do we kill them with booze, activity, the more pressing demands of daily lives, until we bury those pangs under piles and piles of whatever defenses we have learned to use?
It's difficult to let go of the touchstones of our judgments To recognize that people and situations and events do not fit into neat little boxes. The world is not black and white. It is colors beyond our ability to see - vibrations beyond our ability to sense and possibilities beyond our imaginations to picture.
We don't control this world - this universe or even our lives. All we can control is our responses to the unimaginable.
My response is to defy the easy answer - to always look more and see more and try to understand more. I am scared and uncertain. I have no boxes to guide what will become of me. I am open to the cruelty of others, as well as the kindness of strangers. Life hurts, but I am alive.
So, about 9 months ago I had a tumor removed from my thigh. It was unclear exactly what it was but there was a high possibility that it was a form of sarcoma, so I was referred to a leading cancer hospital. They have been doing repeat scans every 3 months and pretty much just waiting for something to start growing.
A few weeks ago I noticed a small lump in my forearm. I was initially in denial and just hoped it would go away, it didn't. I decided finally to go to a local dr to see if they knew what it was. I was really hoping there was nothing there and they would say I am paranoid. They didn't. They tried to schedule an MRI for that afternoon and an appointment with a surgeon the next day, but I decided I'd be better off with my oncologist so I called him. The surgeon called back and after talking to him for about 15 minutes he scheduled scans for Tuesday. They are working me into the schedule. So now I'm just waiting. It sucks. I am pretty much just counting the hours until I will know something. I am not a very patient person.
If you are the praying type, please send some up for all those affected by cancer!